Felipe Drugovich sweeps all four races of MRF Challenge’s Abu Dhabi leg
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Felipe Drugovich sweeps all four races of MRF Challenge’s Abu Dhabi leg

Felipe Drugovich of Brazil needs just 25 points from the final four races of the MRF Challenge 2017, to be held in Chennai in February, to seal the overall championship.

other sports Updated: Dec 15, 2017 23:20 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Abu Dhabi
MRF Challenge 2017,MRF Racing,Felipe Drugovich
Felipe Drugovich leads the pack during one of the races of the MRF Challenge 2017 Abu Dhabi leg at Yas Marina circuit on Friday night.(HT Photo)

Felipe Drugovich extended his championship lead to 86 points at the end of the third round of the MRF Challenge 2017, finishing on top in all four races held at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. A race win (25 points from the four races) in the final round in Chennai, in February, is all that Drugovich needs to seal the championship.

Consistency apart, what made the Brazilian stand out was the swagger with which he drove through the track in the second and third race of the Abu Dhabi round on Friday, having clinched Race 1 on Thursday night.

An almost flawless showing in the two practice rounds and the qualifying session handed Drugovich the luxury to start on pole for the first race on Thursday. He didn’t disappoint. Despite a couple of collisions that saw three drivers crash out, Drugovich held his nerve in some style.

With the safety car being deployed for a few laps, the Brazilian had to rebuild his lead every single time in the short 10-lap race but managed to lead from the start to the chequered flag. Indonesian Presley Martono and French teenager Julien Falchero grabbed the other two spots on the podium.

The top six drivers began the second race, on Friday, in reverse grid, and so Drugovich had to start from sixth place. However, in less than three laps, he got things back under his control. Drugovich gained a position by the end of Lap 1, rose to No. 2 by the end of the end of second, and grabbed the lead on the first corner of the third lap.

Danial Frost, who started on pole, retired from Race 2 after a lap. Julien Falchero and Alex Karkosik finished second and third behind Drugovich.

Owing to his excellent qualifying session, the 17-year-old was again back on pole for the third race of the weekend -- which slotted drivers according to their second best qualifying times. Starting from the front, Drugovich won the race with a mammoth margin of 13.478 seconds. Falchero and Rinus van Kalmthout did manage to grab the next two spots.

The fourth and final race of the Abu Dhabi round went in the Brazilian’s favour as well, with Drugovich starting on pole yet again, having set the fastest lap time across the three races.

It was a business as usual for him, beating Kalmthout and Falchero to the finish.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 23:20 IST